These aren’t my favourite comic book series or graphic novels or creators or comic moments of 2013, these are ALL of those categories combined into one list. There’d be a ton of overlap if I divided them up by category, so listing all of my favourites from the year under the vague heading of “things” is how we’ll roll.
It was a great year for comics, with lots of exciting new titles. Now, I still love everything from last year’s list; Saga and Hawkeye remain two of the best books out there today, but in the interest of mixing it up I’m trying not to duplicate my past favourites. So here are my 10 favourite comic book things of 2013:
10) Clark Kent (@CK1Blogs)
I’m not much for joke Twitter accounts, but this one is amazing. In current New 52 continuity, Clark Kent has quit the Daily Planet to start his own website, so some genius has set up this account where he mostly talks about Panera Bread and plaintively tries to connect with Lois Lane. It is completely hilarious, and far and away the best take on Superman from this past year.
9) FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics by Simon Oliver and Robbi Rodriguez
I was worried about Vertigo after Karen Berger left, but they’ve had a strong year and FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics is my favourite of their new titles. In a world where physics has gone haywire, a governmental department of rather morally compromised individuals does their past to sort out dangerous fluctuations in gravity. It’s very different, and very cool, and the entire team (Simon Oliver writing, Robbi Rodriguez drawing, Nathan Fox on covers) is killing it each month.
8) Faith Erin Hicks
Faith Erin Hicks has been doing fantastic work for a while now, but this was a huge year for her with some high profile projects. Her art on the Last of Us comic looked amazing, but what really floored me was her art in the very enjoyable Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong. She just keeps getting better and better, which is rather impressive considering how good she was to begin with!
7) Afterlife With Archie by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla
This book shouldn’t work. It’s a straight up horror comic, too dark and too heavy for the happy go lucky gang from Riverdale. Some of your favourite characters are killed and become gross, creepy zombies in the very first issue. It is MESSED UP. And I LOVE it. Somehow, it still feels like an Archie comic to me, even though it’s so far outside the realm of what Archie usually does. They’ve done it just right, and it’s so much fun.
6) The Lying Cat/Sophie Page from Saga #14
Oh man. So good. It’s just a quiet little moment in the midst of all of the usual Saga craziness, and if it didn’t demolish you than you are a robot without a soul. The art is perfect, the writing is heartbreakingly beautiful, and the entire idea of the scene and how much it says about these characters in just a few panels is astounding. Top notch comic booking right there.
5) Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
Do I feel weird buying a book called Sex Criminals? A little bit, yes. Does tweeting about it put me on some kind of a watchlist? Probably. Is it hilarious and romantic and somehow dirty in a nice, endearing way? It sure is. This is a great book, with a ton of jokes and a lot of heart. It’s very much about sex, but never in an exploitive or gross way, and is more about love and relationships. Don’t be off put by the title; it’s super good.
4) Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios
Sometimes when you’ve been anticipating a book for a long time, it’s hard for the book to live up to the hype. But Pretty Deadly launched this year and it is SO GOOD. Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios are doing the best work I’ve ever seen from either of them. The book is dark and charming, sort of a weird, Western fairy tale with a sensibility all of its own. And it’s selling like hotcakes, which is just awesome.
3) Marble Season by Gilbert Hernandez
I’ll admit that I’m not super into the Hernandez Bros.’ stuff; much as I respect it all, it’s just not my scene. This, however, was absolutely wonderful. It’s a semi-autobiographical story about a kid in the 1960s, and features an eclectic and often hilarious cast of characters. It perfectly captures the many little joys and heartbreaks of childhood, and the only word I can think of that sums it up is delightful. Reading this book will make you happy.
2) Brian Michael Bendis’ X-Books
This year, I finally got into Bendis. His Avengers stuff never did much for me, and I don’t at all care for Peter Parker, and for the past decade or so I just haven’t dug his stuff. But this year, I caught up on the Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-Man, which I really liked, and checked out Bendis’ All-New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men, which I absolutely loved. Bringing back the original X-team could have easily been terrible, but it’s working like gangbusters for me. It took Bendis a long time to move to the X-books, but I think he’s a fantastic fit there. The books are funny, action-packed, and exciting, and he brings the most out of each character. This was a surprise favourite for me.
1) Wonder Woman in Smallville Season 11
If you read this site at all, you’ve probably seen me going on about this book. Frankly, I thought it was going to be terrible, but it turned into my favourite take on Wonder Woman in years. Bryan Q. Miller’s writing was sharp and he brought a whole new angle to the Wonder Woman mythos, and Jorge Jimenez’s art suited the story, and Diana, beautifully. This book might have been my favourite of the year for young Diana and her pet boy Steve alone, but the rest of story was just as much fun. The book was such a blast to read.
So there are my favourite comic book things from 2013! I’ve undoubtedly forgotten some that I’ll remember five seconds after I post this, but so it goes. Stay tuned for my favourite non-comic book things from 2013 list later in the week!
Tags: @CK1Blogs, Afterlife with Archie, All-New X-Men, Best of 2013, Brian K. Vaughan, Brian Michael Bendis, Bryan Q. Miller, Chip Zdarsky, Emma Rios, Faith Erin Hicks, FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics, Fiona Staples, Francesco Francavilla, Gilbert Hernandez, Jorge Jimenez, Kelly Sue Deconnick, Lying Cat, Marble Season, Matt Fraction, Pretty Deadly, Robbi Rodriquez, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Saga, Sex Criminals, Simon Oliver, Smallville Season 11, Sophie, Uncanny X-Men